I Love Lucy & Seinfeld- Gender Roles in the Media

Television shows generally reflect what is going on in society at the time of the first airing of the show.  When watching an episode of “I Love Lucy” with a critical eye it was disappointing that at one point in our history women were only meant to stay home and be a house wife while men went to work; or to put it like the writers of the show: men make the money and the women spend it. In this episode Lucy and Ethel made a bet with Ricky and Fred that they could do their jobs better than them. They switched positions for the day to prove the other wrong.  As predicted, the women were lousy at working and the men were even worse at housekeeping (what? I’m biased).  This wasn’t the disappointing part though; the disappointing part was both the men and the women just accepted it as being this way.  It was sad that this was the norm.  

In Seinfeld the episode was about Jerry being gay “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”  It was symbolic of how are society viewed people who’s sexual orientation was not heterosexual.  It was a cop out line and it showed that they were aware of the stigmatism of being gay and they didn’t want any part of it.  

Both these shows were hilarious, I laughed while watching both of them, but the underlying text is what matters.  Both these issues are still prevalent in our society today.  Women are still being discriminated against in the workforce through pay grade or status and gay people “not that there’s anything wrong with that” are currently battling same sex marriage among many other things.  Putting the issues out on TV is a start because it brings greater awareness but we also have to be willing to take individual accountability if we want to see a cultural shift within these issues.

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